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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Multiple Polyacrylamide Applications for Controlling Sprinkler Irrigation Runoff and Erosion

Authors
item BJORNEBERG, DAVID
item Aase, J

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 18, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Runoff under sprinkler irrigation systems causes soil erosion and reduces water infiltration uniformity. Previous studies have shown that applying polyacrylamide (PAM) with irrigation water can reduce runoff and soil loss. We conducted this laboratory study to determine if applying PAM with consecutive irrigations is more effective than applying the same amount of PAM in a single irrigation. We applied 0.5 in. at 3 in/h during each irrigation. PAM was applied at 3 lb/a with a single irrigation or with three consecutive irrigations. Both multiple and single PAM application treatments caused significantly less runoff than the control for all four irrigations, however, multiple PAM applications reduced runoff approximately 30% more than the single application during the last two irrigations. Applying PAM at 3 lb/a with one irrigation or three consecutive irrigations reduced cumulative soil loss about 60 and 80%, respectively, compared to the control. Both single and multiple PAM applications reduced runoff and soil loss, but multiple applications controlled runoff longer than a single application.

Technical Abstract: Runoff under sprinkler irrigation systems causes soil erosion and reduces water infiltration uniformity. Previous studies have shown that applying polyacrylamide (PAM) with irrigation water can reduce runoff and soil loss. We hypothesized that applying PAM with three consecutive irrigations would be more effective than applying the same total amount of PAM with a single irrigation. This study was conducted in the laboratory with a Rad silt loam (coarse silty, mixed, superactive mesic Durinodic Xeric Haplocambid) at 6.5% slope. Water was applied at 80 mm/h for 10 min (13 mm application depth) for four irrigations. PAM was applied at 3 kg/ha with irrigation water during the initial irrigation (single) or during three consecutive irrigations (multiple). Both multiple and single PAM treatments caused significantly less runoff than the control for all four irrigations, however, the multiple PAM treatment reduced runoff approximately 30% more than the single application during the last two irrigations. Applying 3 kg PAM/ha with one irrigation or three consecutive irrigations reduced cumulative soil loss about 60 and 80%, respectively, compared to the control. Both single and multiple PAM applications reduced runoff and soil loss, but multiple applications controlled runoff longer than a single application.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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